Cooper Partners director Jemma Sanderson, who won the SMSF Adviser of the Year at the inaugural Women in Finance Awards 2017 last week, told Accountants Daily that she wanted to see a reduction in the amount of changes being made to superannuation regulation and legislation.
“They've gone through a lot of big changes recently so now they just need to calm down, say no further changes for some time, and let everything settle, let the dust settle, and let the confidence in the system really rebuild itself,” Ms Sanderson said.
“It doesn’t help the confidence in the industry and because superannuation is compulsory for most Australians, it’s an area where a lot of people have an interest from that perspective.”
Ms Sanderson said that there is a risk of overcomplicating the system which would be detrimental to the majority of Australians.
“Every adult Australian tends to have superannuation so we need to maintain the integrity of that system so that it also doesn’t become overly complicated for the general population because a lot of people can't afford to pay for that advice,” she said.
“The more we complicate it, the more people potentially need advice. But the more that people may not get advice because it's too complicated, then the more they lose confidence in the system because they think 'it's all too bloody hard, it's going to cost me X to get advice, I can't be bothered, I’ll just completely disengage with it all'.”
Ms Sanderson said that the issue with that is that we need to be encouraging younger people to start getting engaged from an earlier age because of the superannuation contribution limits.
“Pre-10 years ago as you got older your contribution limit went up, so once you hit 50 where your personal circumstances were such that a lot of the time at 50 you might've paid off your house and your kids have flown the nest, so all of a sudden you might have this additional income whereby it might be feasible for you to make extra contributions into super,” Ms Sanderson said.
“So those were fantastic rules but these days if you don’t make regular contributions over time, then you're not able to build up your superannuation to the sort of levels that you need for a comfortable retirement.”
“Unless people are engaged early then they're potentially going to be missing out on really using the structure to its utmost potential.”